November 12, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Hi there, family and friends!
Here in Brasil, there is no Thanksgiving to use as a starting point for Christmas madness. So, basically its like December already here in Mossoró :) I mean, its still like 90 degrees every day BUT everyone is singing Christmas hymns and all the members have little Christmas trees up in their house and it is VERY surreal to sing Silent Night when its so hot you could fry an egg on the pavement haha.
Another awesome thing about Nov-Dec in Brasil? Its mango season :D and we happen to have a lot of mango trees on our street!
But seriously, this week has been such a learning experience for me. My companion, Sister Christensen (who is incredible and I love her lots), is also the Sister Lìder Trainadora. Which is really cool, because I'm learning so much from her. But its also a little hard because she does divisions one day every week. And while she is off in another bairro (bye-ho, neighborhood) I've been feeling a lot of responsibility here in my area. The other sisters that go on splits with me are all even newer than I am! This week should be an adventure - I'm going out with a new missionary from Chile. Hopefully we both know enough Portugues to get by haha :)
But this past week was absolutely incredible, especially during our divisions. Sister Leonard and I were a little freaked out because we were a couple americanas with only a few months in Brasil (she arrived the same time as me) on our own for the day. However, we had a very real sense of our dependence on the Lord and this humility led to amazing miracles. We taught a family how to pray together. We invited another investigator to be baptized, and she started crying and accepted. We challenged someone to be baptized while making a street contact, and he accepted! Honestly, when we really have nowhere else to turn and truly recognize our dependence on God, He always comes to our rescue. We are here to help people, and when we do our part He will never let us down.
An Elder in my zone said something at transfers that really hit me this past week. The Lord wont let us fail. He wont let the work fail, because these people are important and the gospel is true. But he also wont let us fail individually, as missionaries, because He cares about us as well. I have a very strong testimony of this.
Sunday was wonderful!!! I gave my first talk in Church on an Elder Holland talk, The First Great Commandment. Its all about missionary work (big surprise!). We are having a missionary Sunday once a month in our ward where are the talks and all the hymns are about missionary work, to involve the members and get them more excited for this marvelous opportunity to share the gospel! We also had our first meeting with a ward mission leader. He is AWESOME! Seriously. It was great. We are working very closely with the ward counsel to help the members become involved. Each week, one organization( RS, EQ, YM, YW, YSA) has a fast for missionary work. Prayer brings blessings, but prayer AND fasting is just a power combination to really bring milagres.
Our mission leader asked each one of us what our favorite thing was about the mission. After a bit of thought, ive figured it out. I LOVE following up on the Book of Mormon challenge, to read and then pray if it is true. i love following up because everyone that truly reads and prays with real intent gets an answer. And I love to here my investigators describe the feelings of the Spirit. I love hearing them bear their own testimony that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. My testimony of the promise in Moroni is strengthen every day. I know that God hears and answers prayers, and that the Book of Mormon is the key to missionary work. It will bring the Spirit into the homes of our investigators even when we aren't there. I stand with Joseph Smith in declaring that man will get closer to God by abiding by the precepts taught in the Book of Mormon than through any other way.
I bear my testimony that the Savior lives, He is mindful of each of us. And as we strive to be missionaries, whether we have a nametag or not, we grow to understand Christ. When we suffer and struggle and cry for the salvation of our brothers and sisters, we begin to understand Christ and we grow to be more like Him. He loves us more than we will ever know.
Muito amor
Sister Carroll :)

so I (mom) don't know what to say about these pictures because they were sent to me by a sweet sister in Sister Carroll's Ward - yeah for technology! Enjoy!

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